DRL Limited

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DRL Limited
IndustryRetailer
FoundedBolton, Greater Manchester,
England (2000 (2000))
Founder(s)John Roberts, Alan Latchford, John Dutton
HeadquartersHorwich, Bolton,
England
ProductsWhite goods
Websitedrllimited.co.uk
 
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DRL Limited
IndustryRetailer
FoundedBolton, Greater Manchester,
England (2000 (2000))
Founder(s)John Roberts, Alan Latchford, John Dutton
HeadquartersHorwich, Bolton,
England
ProductsWhite goods
Websitedrllimited.co.uk

DRL Limited is an online kitchen appliance business in the United Kingdom with headquarters and video studios in Horwich and offices in Manchester. It runs the websites ao.com (formerly Appliances Online), Appliance Reviews and Appliance Deals, and specialises in the selling of white goods. DRL also owns the Manchester-based white goods distribution company, Expert Logistics.

DRL Limited provides white label kitchen appliance websites for clients including Boots, Next, House of Fraser, allproductsdirect, Screwfix, Empire Direct and B&Q. It also supplies white goods to the Shop Direct Group[citation needed].

DRL sells more than 3,000 appliances every day across its websites and is estimated to account for 25% of the £3bn online white goods sector[citation needed]. The company's turnover reached £169m in April 2011.

The business currently employs a workforce of over 600[citation needed].

The company's mission statement revolves around a devotion to customer happiness.

History[edit]

DRL Limited was founded in 2000 by John Roberts,[1] Alan Latchford and John Dutton, as an online kitchen appliance business.

The company originally operated a sole website, Appliances Online, followed by Appliance Heaven (which no longer trades). In July 2001, DRL launched Appliance Deals.

In 2003, DRL was approached by Sainsbury's to sell kitchen appliances under the Sainsbury's brand name, and the business relocated to Aspinall House in Horwich, Bolton.

Sainsbury's and DRL parted ways, but over the next six years DRL Limited also acquired contracts to provide white label kitchen appliance websites for Boots (2004), Next (2006), Screwfix (2007), House of Fraser (2008), Marks & Spencer (2008), Debenhams (2009), and Shop Direct Group (2011). DRL manage supply, distribution and customer care.

In 2007 DRL was ranked 70th in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, and moved up 42 places to number 28 in 2008.

Appliance Reviews was launched by DRL in 2009 in partnership with commerce specialists Bazaarvoice. The site allows customers to leave product reviews, and use an Ask & Answer service for advice and guidance on the appliances sold across sites operated by DRL.

In July 2009, DRL Limited completed its purchase of Expert Logistics Limited, a white goods home delivery specialist based in Radcliffe, Manchester .[2]

DRL also launched an extended white goods range on Argos' website in November 2009.

In 2010, DRL's flagship site, Appliances Online was re-launched using a new search and merchandising engine from Fredhopper, an eCommerce search and navigation software vendor.

The Next Day Appliances website was also unveiled, offering next day delivery on all appliances sold across the site.

DRL also invested £750,000 into a video studio to produce video reviews for its Appliances Online and Appliance Reviews website. The studio, located in Bolton, has kitchen sets, equipment and production and editing suites.[3]

In 2011, DRL signed for an initial 15,000 sq ft at Bruntwood's Riverside building in Manchester, employing 100 people, with plans to increase the number of employees at Riverside to more than 300 by the end of March.[4] In the same year, Expert Logistics, now a subsidiary of DRL, signed a lease for a 360,000 sq ft Prologis warehouse, located in Crewe.

DRL Limited was also named as 63rd in the Sunday Times 'Best Companies to Work For' list in 2011, and received the award for Best Customer Service Operation at the 2011 European Call Centre & Customer Service Awards.[5]

In 2012, DRL Limited positioned at number 5 in the Sunday Times 'Best Companies to Work For' list.[6]

In 2013, DRL Limited positioned at number 4 in the Sunday Times 'Best Companies to Work For' list.[7]</ref>

In July 2013 Appliances Online became ao.com and in October of the same year, launched an industry first "Same Day Delivery" proposition when ordering before midday.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.companydirectorcheck.com/john-charles-roberts-3 list of companies owned by John Roberts
  2. ^ "Insider Media Limited". Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Online appliance seller creates film studio to review products". The Bolton News (Newsquest Media Group). 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Feddy, Kevin (7 October 2011). "DRL creating hundreds of jobs at new call centre". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media). 
  5. ^ "Staff go the extra mile to help their customers". The Bolton News (Newsquest Media Group). 19 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Retailer ‘second best employer’ in region". The Bolton News (Newsquest Media Group). 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "'best100companies'". The Sunday Times.